Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Netanyahu in Control

Ha'aretz has good news for Benjamin Netanyahu:
"Judging by this poll, Netanyahu is the only candidate with a realistic slot of becoming prime minister after the election slated to take place in another four months.
"Asked which candidate is most suited to hold the job, 48 percent of respondents said Netanyahu. That is considerably more support than the other three candidates received put together.
"His closest rival, Shelly Yacimovich (Labor), got only 15 percent support. Next came Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) with nine percent, and finally Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) with six percent. That is a blow to Mofaz, who has been presenting himself as Netanyahu's only realistic rival...
"Moreover, all the polls published this week - including that of Haaretz, which will be published tomorrow - show Yacimovich's Labor Party replacing Kadima as the largest party in the center-left bloc. Kadima is currently fighting just to retain second place ahead of Lapid's new Yesh Atid party."
Yacimovich has no experience in a government and rose to the Labor leadership amidst 2011's protests over the government's approach to social spending.  What this poll shows is that there is no appetite in Israel for a center-left, or even centrist, security policy.  Furthermore, it suggests that the Kadima Party, which was only formed as a vehicle for Ariel Sharon's disengagement policy, may not be viable in the long run given new prominence to domestic spending issues fueling a Labor resurgence.  Tzipi Livni, its ousted leader, may leave the party.



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